Tuesday, March 29, 2016

HEAVEN 24/7 - New book!

Almost here!

My ninth book, Heaven 24/7 - Living in the Light - is on its way!

This is the first time I've worked with a co-author, and the journey has been rewarding to say the least! 

Christian Nonfiction
Heaven 24/7, what's it all about?
If you've ever wondered, 
"Is it possible to live more spiritually minded, even in the midst of day-to-day earth life?"
If you've ever worried about what others really think of you, or about being perfect NOW.
If you've wanted to forgive someone, but couldn't.
If you've tried hard to see how to get past the scars in your life, but haven't.
If you feel as if you live in fear, and wonder where God is.
If you have a hard time letting go of sin, sharing who you are, knowing what you really want out of life, and having the courage to do it.

It may just be your time to try heaven.

Are you ready?

Expect great stories!
Places to write your thoughts!
A life change!

Monday, March 28, 2016


Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing? 

I was born into a family of teachers. Both my parents were avid readers, and I caught the bug at an early age. I wrote my first book when I was ten, and my parents purchased the only copy, which I had handwritten, paying me a dollar. I taught college writing for over forty years. As a lover of literature, upon my retirement, writing became my number one hobby.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write? 

I have always been an early morning person, so I do most of my writing before noon. I work out nearly every day, and many of my best ideas pop into my head during my daily walks. I then hustle up to my study before breakfast and jot down everything I can for that day’s writing session, which will begin right after I eat.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down? 

I have an upstairs study, and I spend a lot of time in there in front of my computer. I write everything on the computer. I can easily correct, erase, edit, etc.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing? 

My favorite part of writing is starting anew each day, creating as I go. I actually become part of my book. My least favorite is when I write the two words, The End. I always feel sad, as if I have lost a good friend who must now go off to live on its own at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It’s like saying goodbye to my child. After all, I created my “little baby.”

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 

When my first wife died, I was literally a basket case. I never thought I would love again, let alone go beyond just the basic elements of living, breathing and eating. After I found the courage to venture out and live my life again, I knew that I had to put my true journey down on paper for two crucial reasons: as a cathartic push to move forward for me, and as possibly a way of helping others.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 

I love to create, but I am not good in the sales’ department. My books are on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple, and they have found good homes there.  Every now and then I do a bit of advertising, but I primarily rely upon the word of others. I have already retired, so my writing is my avocation, not my vocation.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? 

I have lots of books out, international thrillers and mysteries, humorous novels, literary fiction, and my memoir. My latest book, TRIANGLE OF HOPE, is one of which I am particularly proud. My head is working on a few things, but I just have not involved my computer.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it. 

I have nothing definite at the moment, though I do have lots of threads running through my head.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

Write for yourself. Write what you yourself like to read. Enjoy what you are doing, or don’t do it. Life is too short as it is.

A question for me:

I am curious. Why would someone want to write if he or she finds it difficult to do? Why not take on another hobby?

Good question! I think some folks are out there for the money only and they believe writing will give them the big bucks. Disappointments arrive every day. Hopefully, most writers write because they can't NOT write; the process is a part of their very soul. I think writing is difficult at times for even the proficient writer, but what distinguishes them from someone who writes just to make money, is what you read between the lines. There is depth and realness. There is joy and sorrow. There is actually something - dare I say it - that may even be more of a business and less of a hobby. For many writers, being a writer is like finally getting the career of their dreams. They can do what they love and make money too.

Thank you, Michael!

Learn more about Michael:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

March Mood-swings

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with my daughter who lives in Texas.

Evidently it was 85 degrees yesterday. The kids were out swimming.

As the snow melted like crazy on my front and back lawns, I thought about the mowing I'd had to give my lawn just the week before (yes, it was long) and the weeding and otherwise pruning that had already taken place and that covered with - snow.

Isn't spring amazing?

Even in Texas, they're still getting rain to cool things off, and then right back to the 80's again.

Sometimes writing is a bit like spring weather. One day, the ideas are just cruising from your fingertips like a hot rod, the next, the hot rod appears hidden beneath layers of snow.

And I guess that's okay.

We all have mood swings - and so can March.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Creena Brightstar from the Star Trails Saga

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Creena Brightstar and I'm currently living on Cyraria, a planet around one of the stars in the constellation Earth knows as Scorpio.  I'm 17 years old, but was 14 when the biggest adventure of my life began.  I'm average height, athletic, have dark hair and eyes, and a nose I don't like.  I love science and am learning everything I can about it so I can help my father engineer this planet into a more comfortable place to live.  (BTW, that's me on the cover of "Beyond the Hidden Sky" and "Refractions of Frozen Time."  I'm in all four books, though.)

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I'm fascinated by the mysteries of the Universe.  There are so many things that we are just beginning to understand, like the relationship between matter, our minds and psychic abilities.  The cristobalite and devenite crystals we found on this planet magnify these abilities, so I spend all the time I can experimenting with them.

What is your favorite color and why?

Any color but orange.  That was the color of my uniform on Mira III and I hated it.  I think that my favorite color is probably purple, since that's the color of devenite, which was so important in bringing our family back together.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I love all Earth food!  When I was staying with the Bensons in Cache Valley they had a big garden that was so incredible.  The other kids hated weeding and harvesting the veggies, but I loved it, as well as everything it produced.  I guess my very favorite is strawberry pie, not only because it's so yummy, but it's so pretty, too.  Makes me hungry just thinking about it!

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

Hahaha, you should probably ask my older brother, Dirck.  We're getting along pretty well now, but we used to fight all the time.  It drives him crazy that I'm what he considers illogical.  As my 'troid, Aggie, explained it, I'm right-brained and he's left-brained, so we see things differently.  Most of Mira III was left-brained so everyone thought I was pretty weird.  I also asked too many questions and always got in trouble for it.  Not any more!

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Dirck drove me crazy because he was so critical and made me feel like an idiot.  The Mira III Academy was strict about the rules.  If you broke one, you were given a Noncompliance Report, or NCR, and your name was displayed on a giant, digital board for all to see.  Here's a scene from 

"Beyond the Hidden Sky" (changed to first person) to show what I mean:

It was outside the Academy's galarium, where our paths always crossed between zones four and five.  Students streamed past, a rainbow of organized codes, my Code Orange and Dirck's Code Blue parallel, our common name placing us side by side.
"What's the matter with you?" he'd said, voice angry enough to rise above the zonebreak din.  "Why can't you just be compliant?  What's so hard?"
"I can't help it," I replied, emotions swelling like a cresting wave.  "What's it to you, anyway?"  My steps fell out of synch with the others and a soft alarm went off at my waist.  I skipped back quickly, hoping Dirck hadn't noticed.  He had.
"You’re such an embarrassment!" he muttered.
"So what?" I snapped.  "Just pretend I don't exist.  Then it won't bother you anymore."
He gave me that look that made my nerves stand on end. "Only you could think it's that simple.  You're my sister and everyone knows it.  Besides, when you're on the NCR board someone always thinks it's me because all they see is 'Brightstar.'  It's humiliating."
I almost lost step again but caught it in time.  "Well, it isn't you, so what's the big deal?" I said.
"I'll tell you what the big deal is!  You're an embarrassment to the entire family!  I get tired of everyone reaming me out because my little sister is a constant on the Board!"

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

I didn't realize in the beginning how much I loved my family.  Then, when we were separated, I mean REALLY separated, like on other sides of the galaxy, I came to realize how important they were.  It didn't take long before I was willing to take any risk necessary to get back to them, which wasn't exactly easy.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

When I was on Earth, I really had a giant crush on Allen Benson.  I still think about him a lot and wonder if we'll ever see each other again.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Dirck really knew how to push my buttons and I should have learned to ignore him and not get so upset.  Everything would have been entirely different if I hadn't let him upset me so much that I tried to hide in that escape pod. 

A question for me:

Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.

Do your characters ever surprise you with what they say or do?

Always. Always. Always. I think the best writing comes when you just let them have their say instead of expecting them to be a certain way. Of course they need to be in 'character' but they need the freedom to speak and do without being hindered by their creator.


Thanks, Creena!

Learn more about Creena and her creator:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/marcha-fox/86/440/326/                     

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing? 

Growing up I wasn't an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during my senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks novels, I found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  When my daughter was born, reading was my happy place.  Others would ask me what to read next, so I created a book blog, Hardcover Therapy.  My love for reading ignited the passion for writing several years later, and my writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.  Today I still enjoy reading, writing reviews, and of course writing a new novel.  It’s hard to believe a girl who hated reading has now written seven titles!

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I write typically every Monday and Tuesday in the afternoons while my little girl is at the dance studio for a total of 8 hours.  When I’m in crunch mode, I write every free moment I have available.   Over the past three years, I’ve had to find a balance for my full time job as a special education teacher, wife, mother, and author.  Now that I’ve found it, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?  

I typically write on my laptop at the dance studio or Lily Bean Coffee Shop in my hometown.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing? 

My favorite part about writing is when I come up with a new story line or something that sparks my inspiration.  My least favorite part has to be edits.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?  

I typically come up with my book ideas from country music.  I’ll hear a song and it will spark an idea or one small scene.  It then snowballs into a full novel.  Most of my books take about three months to write, edit, and release.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 

I’ve tried a lot of different avenues, but I’ve found that word of mouth is the best.  I love when people tell others about my stories or when they stumble upon one.  I’ve had review tours, Facebook events, and book promotions.  Another strategy that works well is an amazing email list and street team.  Those individuals get to know you and are always there when there is a new release.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? 

Currently, I am in the process of final edits of Tutus & Cowboy Boots (Part 2.)  It will release on April 8, 2016.  No worries if you haven’t read Tutus & Cowboy Boots (Part 1),  it’s currently free on all platforms.  Check it out at http://ow.ly/YWAHF

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.  

Absolutely!  Currently, I have one title that I’ve been holding onto for query purposes called Boondocks.  Think Moonshiners meets the Dukes of Hazard for young adults!  I’m also planning on a new novel that will revolve around two rival high school football teams.  I hope that if you loved my Full Circle Series that you will love this one!  Think pranks, romance, and rivalry that revolve around the coach’s daughter.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

Have faith in yourself!  You believing in yourself will be the rock of success!


Thanks, Casey!

Learn more about Casey:

Book Trailer- https://youtu.be/Ea4oTrw0TWY for Tutus & Cowboy Boots Part 1

Check out my website for a FREE download of Our Song!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Best Response to Criticism about Your Book

I have been writing for many years, and I still get that honest feedback most writers cringe about. I used to get upset for days, throw in the towel, and tell myself, I will never write another word again.

The next week I would try again, the sound of the voice almost as clear inside my head.

By the following week the voice would be gone, and in it's place new things to think about like character, setting and plot.

Who knew?

Through the years I have learned two simple words that most of the time stops the 'perpetrator' in their tracks.


You might hate what they've said but say thank you. They might add some additional feedback, feedback you might not have asked for in the first place, but remember to say thank you.


I'm hurting right now, YOU THINK TO YOURSELF, but thank you. In a few days I will look at your words again and make a decision on what I'm going to do about them. I will decide if I weed out what you've suggested or keep it. But thank you. You didn't have to say anything. You could have chosen to be silent, you could have chosen never to share with me your thoughts. 


Be prepared for a YOU'RE WELCOME. It usually comes, and sometimes, if you hold out for a bit longer, trying with all of your might not to protect your baby by making excuses for it, you may here something like:

"But I really liked ..."

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I've been writing for as long as I can remember.  My mother read to me, starting back when I was a baby, and I could read myself by the time I went to kindergarten.  I wrote my first little story when I was in 1st grade.  In 6th grade I was writing science fiction stories about the extraterrestrial origins of our various teachers.  I had a bit of a hiatus after that, but always loved writing letters as well as essay questions and math story problems, which was, of course, rather weird since most people dreaded them.  As an only child I loved books, which were my best friends, and always planned on someday writing one myself.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

When I was still working full-time, I wrote in the evenings, but now that I'm retired, I can control my schedule and write whenever I want.  When I'm writing or editing a book, I spend every possible moment working on it.  I really become the "obsessive author" at that point.  I find when I set a deadline for myself that I have to do my writing first thing, before I open my email or even peek at social media, since they suck up time like a virtual black hole.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

When I first started writing I liked to draft stories by hand on a big yellow pad of legal-sized paper, but that was also in the day of typewriters when making revisions was so bothersome.  Now I write directly into the computer.  I have a desktop, since I'm more comfortable with a regular keyboard as opposed to the flat ones on a laptop.  I have a granddaughter writing a book on her phone that she posts to Wattpad.  That is totally beyond my comprehension!

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is when your muse dictates the story into your head so fast that you can't type fast enough to keep up with it.  This is similar to, and often occurs, when your character(s) take over the story.  So often my characters have gotten into such a mess that I didn't have any idea how they'd get out of it, yet somehow they always figured it out on their own.  I love it when that happens.

My least favorite part about writing is keeping everything organized, whether it's research or sequencing of scenes when you have your characters separated with different things happening in different places.  This has been a real challenge for me with science fiction where they can be on different planets or traveling in space, where Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity comes into play, and time is passing at a different rate for each person.  Keeping all that straight can be a real headache!

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

The first spark of an idea for "Beyond the Hidden Sky" came about from the first "Star Wars" movie when R2D2 and 3CPO blasted off in the escape pod.  My premise was "What if a rebellious teen aged girl got blasted off in an escape pod while her family was emigrating to another planet?"  And the story took off from there. 
Get the books at Amazon

The story took many years to write and went through numerous revisions and edits, so many that at a certain point my science fiction technology had become science fact and I needed to do an upgrade!  Now things are moving so fast it won't be long before what I have will also be science fact, even though we are a few years away from colonizing other planets and a psi-link to our smart phones.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I have established a presence on quite a few social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, have a website for my books, write blogs that include both writing tips and science subjects, conduct events and giveaways from time to time on Goodreads, and have shared a book fair booth with other authors.  I'm an introvert by nature, so this is the most difficult part for me.

Since science fiction inspired me to become a physicist, I hope my books will also inspire young people to pursue a career in a technical field.  I incorporate real science into my books so they learn something along the way, so I also like to meet and connect with science teachers, some of whom have included my box set in their classroom as extra credit reading. 

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I have a few chapters written for my next one, but I'm presently in more of a research mode.  Since I write hard science fiction, I do my best to assure that the science is accurate with the sci-fi excursions credible.  I keep in touch with my fans and maintain a presence through my blogs and newsletter plus continue to promote the box set of my tetra-logy via social media.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

This would be the book I'm researching.  It's a spin-off from a minor character in "A Dark of Endless Days" who was a teenager when Creena, the main character in "Beyond the Hidden Sky", stayed with his family in Utah.  Now he's grown up, has a PhD in theoretical physics, and is determined to find her, wherever she is.  This takes him into the Top Secret realms of Area 51 and UFOs, which turns out to be a rather dark and treacherous path for both him and his family.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Just start writing, take classes, get together with other writers, either in local groups or online, and keep at it.  If a person has the desire, then they can develop the talent.  Most talents are developed as the result of an intense interest and love for a certain pursuit as opposed to simply being born with it and thus not requiring any training or practice.  Finding a unique niche is important in today's competitive market, but the most important thing when you start out is to learn your trade and hone your skills.  You never stop learning as a writer and everything you write teaches you something.  Being an avid reader is also essential.  Note what works and what doesn't.  Sometimes you learn the most from other writer's mistakes.  It's easy to be blind to your own weaknesses, then recognize them when someone else does the same thing.

A Question for Me:

What's the best way to organize your book's chapter outline, research, character and story notes?

Wow. A great question. I am sort of a 'write by the seat of my pants' author, but that doesn't mean I don't construct a loose outline and know what my characters are like and keep story notes. Let's just say, everything is on paper, and the paper is in a folder, and the folder is shoved into a drawer - but at least I know what's in there and it's 'fairly' organized. 

Please let me know when you find someone who knows how to do that one well. I could use some help myself!


Thanks, Marcha!

Learn about Marcha as the following links:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/marcha-fox/86/440/326/                     

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Enter a Book Contest! No entry fee! Last day to enter!

Exciting news!

OUR SECOND CONTEST IS NOW RUNNING! Enter today! Deadline for first round is August 31!

Today is the big day, so if you haven't entered, now is the time! Our next contest won't begin until January of next year, so get your entry in today!!

Will you win?
At Idea Creations Press we are excited to welcome new authors to the publishing arena and hope you find this creative experience an exciting and life changing adventure. It is our desire to hold this contest twice yearly, so if your book is not yet ready, get it ready for the next contest. Our second semi-annual writing contest will
begin June 1st, 2016.

We would love to publish your book if it teaches positive morals and values. It can be a fun read, too, but ultimately, good must triumph over evil; readers must be left with a positive message.

Generally we publish the following fiction genres:

Middle Reader
Young Adult

If your book doesn't fit in any of the genres or categories listed above, know that we are still open to hearing about your project. As long as the book follows the guidelines listed above and does not include bad language, adult oriented material (erotica) or excessive blood and gore, we would like to hear from you.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I suppose I've always written since being at school.  Whereas most other people I knew gave up when they left school I just… didn't. Wrote two (terrible) novels that will certainly never see the light of day then finally stopped messing about and did a couple of writing courses.  I think they focused me in what I was doing right and wrong and I've been writing and publishing ever since.

How to you schedule your writing time? when do you write?

It's difficult and something I've always struggled with.  The problem is there's always a distraction!  Some, like having a family, are fantastic and some, like having a full-time job, are less than fantastic!  Right now I try to do an hour after I've put my daughter to bed at least four days a week.  I've found that setting aside that specific time slot seems to work well and most weeks I manage a couple of extra hours here and there as I'm able.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have an office if I'm writing during the day but on an evening I usually just plonk myself on the dining table and start typing.  I've got a laptop and a desktop computer that both sync all my writing via dropbox so I can pretty much pick up any project at a moment's notice.  Since January I've also been experimenting with dictation and that's going well. The idea of getting more words in the same time frame is very appealing.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I like outlining.  I usually produce a few thousand word outline for any novel I'm working on and that's pretty enjoyable because you've got the complete blank page to work from but my absolutely favourite part is once that is nailed and you start getting into the meat of the chapters.

Because my writing time is quite limited I've found outlines invaluable for just being able to pick up where I left off and keep the flow of a longer work going so just glancing at that and getting down to the business of writing is great fun.
The worst part? Editing.  Fortunately with more work spent on outlining there's rarely any major edits to do but I have to say editing just bores me, I have to force myself to do it…

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Different book ideas came in different ways. The novel for adults I've just completed is called 'The Dali Deception' and that was born of fear! I had been writing stories of varying lengths about a detective character for years (and not finishing a great of many them) and I was worried that was all I could write. That one character. Forever. So I deliberately sat down to write something else. After a while I decided that I wanted to write a heist like Oceans 11 and so then I just gradually decided on all the elements; the characters, the villains, the crime. 

Get the Book at Amazon
The kids books I write came about because I was frustrated with the horrible fairy and princess books that seemed to be the only books that were popular for Middle Grade readers.  I wanted something that had a kick-butt girl as the main character but I also wanted to frame it in such a way that I wasn't going to be restricted to always write a certain type of book.  The hidden room in the Lost Bookshop was the result of that; the children can go on any adventure because, as we know, a bookshop contains ALL the adventures.  So they are transported into the Wild West, to a circus to investigate a missing monkey and a little trip into Grimm territory for the last one I completed.

Once I've finished the outline the books don't take too long, The Dali Deception took around three months to write and the Lost Bookshop series each take around a month and a half.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

All of the marketing!

It's the one area I neglected in the past so I'm currently throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks then doubling down on those avenues.  I recently advertised with Bookbub for my free kids book and that result in fifteen thousand new readers in the first week but I have a mailing list that I'm trying not to neglect and looking at Facebook in more details at the moment.  I think I’ve got the hang of Twitter so come and say hello to @LostBookshop if you’re so inclined.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I just finished editing 'The Dali Deception' for adults so that should be out in the next couple of months, just getting my schedules in order.

In terms of writing I'm working on the next installment of The Lost Bookshop for kids. I finished the outline at the beginning of March and I’ve got the first few chapters in the bag already.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I do indeed, it's an Urban Fantasy series. I've written a prequel novella, done a lot of character development for the main characters and written the first couple of chapters too… it's a big project so I keep dipping in and out of it.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Write. A lot. It's literally the only way to get better. Writing groups are another great source of feedback, it's impossible to improve if you can't see what needs work.

A question for me:

What's the best piece of marketing advice you can give to an author about to launch their first novel?

Don't be afraid to try what feels right for you. In my book, Marketing Your Book on a Budget, I go through book reviewers, online interviews like this one, free sites to market your book, how to put together a book trailer without any out-of-pocket cash and more. I love doing book signings - though not in the usual places like book stores. I also carry postcards that have my recent book and contact information on them. Who knows when you'll be meeting someone interested in your book.

Thanks, Adam!
Learn more about Adam:

My author website is at http://www.adammaxwell.com and you can get links to my most recent kids book (it’s free!) by going to http://lostbookshop.com/books/witch-with-the-glitch/.